By Peaches Lukens
To meditate is to be filled with God. The Hebrew word for meditation is “hagah”, meaning “to ponder”. In Christian meditation, we meditate not to empty the mind, but to fill it with God. We take in a small portion of God’s Word slowly as though we were savoring fine food. Letting it be absorbed into both mind, heart and spirit. The Words of God have power and life them just as food does. We allow the Holy Spirit of God to nourish us from within and speak to us in a unique way when we slow down, become still and listen. Before you begin this practice. Find a short passage in the bible that you would like to take in on a deeper level. Open your bible to that passage and lay your bible in your lap or before you. Keep a journal and pen nearby.
“Teach me and I will be quiet.” Job 6:24
Find a quiet place and position yourself before God in humility and reverence.
“Peace. Be Still.” Mark 4:39 Our minds are abuzz with thoughts and activity. We quiet the mind and relax the body in order to better receive God’s Words to us today.
* Sit with your back erect, but comfortable. Rest your hands in your lap (on top of your open bible if you can).
* Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose slowly and exhale out your mouth. Do this 3-4 times.
* In your mind, begin repeating the phrase, ‘Peace. Be still’. These are the words our Lord used to calm the sea. We will use them to calm the body and mind. Repeat the phrase over and over. When you catch yourself thinking of other things, simply return to repeating the phrase. You will meet resistance and hear yourself say that you can’t focus. Do not fight with yourself. Simply return to the phrase and the mind and body will soon comply. Stay with this for 20 minutes. You may find it takes 15 minutes to quiet yourself. Persevere.
“My Word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
The words of God have power and they set out to accomplish something within us. They challenge us to repent, lift us to rejoice, prompt us to change. Receive God’s personal word to you.
* Read the passage you have chosen out loud and very slowly. Read it through two times. Lean into it. Do not try to grasp it or grab it. Let it come to you. Let God come to you. Sit quietly for at least a full minute.
* Reflect. Read the passage again out loud and slowly. “What are you saying to me Father through these words?” Be attentive to any word, image or verse that seems to stand out from the others. Note what comes to you in your journal and take time to “ponder” why God has highlighted these particular word(s). Do not rush through this. God has something to impart to you and you don’t want to miss it.
*Respond. Read the passage again even slower. “How do you want me to respond to what you are saying, Father?”. Converse with God within or through journaling about how you feel led to respond to what He has spoken to you.
* Rest. Read the passage one last time. Now rest in what God and you shared.
Stay with this passage for a week. Come to it daily and take it in deeper by following the practice listed above. The Word will change you. If you desire to memorize scripture, this is an effective way. By taking the word in slowly and consistantly for a week, it will come to your remebrance almost effortlessly.
Here are a few passages to begin with:
2 Corinthians 10:1-6
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Peaches is the author of Christian Meditation: Filling a quiet mind with God.